Buying Coffee in London – Part 2

After a wonderful flat white and espresso at Flat White coffee shop, London (more on that to follow on another post), I made my way to Monmouth Coffee shop, but on my way there, I stumbled across another coffee specialist store, Algerian Coffee Stores on 52 Old Compton Street, in the heart of Soho. They too feature in Hattie Ellis’s book. However, Algerian Coffee Stores have been in the business for 120 years and offer a choice of over 80 coffees – Wow ! that sounds impressive.  You can buy coffee, coffee equipment, a selection of over 120 teas and even drink coffee there too in their smallish but quaint shop. From what I saw, they tend to favour a full roast, i.e. dark to very dark, where you can see the oils on top of the coffee bean. As I was in a rush – had to meet the wife for some shopping – I quickly asked for a recommendation for espresso and bought their Cafe Torino blend of very dark Colombian and full roast Ethiopian. On my return to Vienna, I tried this first out of the 5 bags of coffee from other stores. I think it’s the first time since using my flashy espresso machine that my espresso has been bitter – almost with a tobacco flavour – the espresso is dark but the coffee works better with me for milk based drinks to hide a bit of the bitterness. I also had a bit of a problem with getting the grind right, moving the dial to a finer grind away from my normal setting for espresso, which meant some beans had to be sacrificed to get the right grind for an espresso pour.  I’m sure there’s an expert out there that can explain this unusual (for me) phenomenon. However, I am optimisitc of trying coffee from them again, especially with their history. I also found out from their website that they have 19 blends and what I bought was not the best type for espresso. You can also order coffee and other stuff from Algerian Coffee Stores through their internet shop (www.algcoffee.co.uk)  and I am tempted to try them once more. I suggest that if you have time, you should try them out. 

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